Phase coupler for X10 install


Old 04-16-05, 07:41 AM
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Phase coupler for X10 install

I've just started testing a new X10 install and the only issue is some of the outlets are on the wrong "side" of the breaker panel. I was looking into a phase coupler possibly, unless there are other options? What are the risks involved with using one?

Would I use a passive or amplified phase coupler for this type of application and which kind is best for a small house?

Also can I get one that just plugs in, w/o a bunch of extra wiring (esp. in the breaker box)? The only plug-in I find is one for the dryer (plugs into a 220-volt dryer outlet).

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-17-05, 06:50 PM
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I don't know much about X-10

but searching the X-10 website I found this:

Phase coupling
In most cases the signals transmitted by the Controller will control any Module plugged in anywhere in the house. The signal level transmitted is usually in the order or 4 to 5 volts but varies with line impedance and loading (Controller plugged in next to a TV set, for example.) However, the amplitude of signal required to operate a module is only 50 millivolts (0.05 volts) so there is enough tolerance in the transmit/receive ratio to allow for considerable signal attenuation. Most signal attenuation occurs when the signal has to "jump the phases". .
Most houses are wired such that 220v (240V) is brought into the breaker panel and then split into 2 phases of 110v ( 120V) each. The signals from the Controller are transmitted onto one phase and have to travel all the way out to the pole transformer to couple across to the other phase. The amplitude of signal on the "other" phase can, therefore, be greatly reduced.
Signals can be "coupled" to the other phase by installing a 0.1 microfarad (0.1F), 600VDC capacitor across the two phases in the panel, i.e. by connecting the capacitor across any 220V breaker (see Figure 2) .

I would take this with a grain of salt, I'm not sure about the wisdom of using a DC capactitor in an AC panel.

If you search the link they have other devices, including some that install in your breaker panel. Try here:

Hope this helps!
Old 04-18-05, 08:18 PM
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Thanks for the help Desy2820.

I was wondering if anyone has tested or used a phase coupler?
Old 04-19-05, 02:46 PM
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I experienced the same problem you are having. The easiest way out was a phase coupler. Once installed all modules work flawlessly.

Here is the Leviton model I installed.

Good Luck!
Old 05-14-05, 08:37 AM
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I had a problem with my X-10 controls after installing flourescent lamps in the outdoor fixtures.. they just wouldn't come on using the special switches that are required.. so.. I went to and asked what was up.. they told me I was probably on the other phase of my circuit and the noise was interfering.. I bought filters, I moved the control, I added one regular lamp to the circuit, I moved this, and that.. finally added the phase coupler at the dryer outlet.. well, that didn't solve the outside lamps, but it did solve the control of the lites on the fence out front.. so, they do work.. the outside lights I finally fixed them by installing a receptacle right at the light switch in the garage and plugging the control unit in there.. it had inches to travel and works everytime now.. I also know what time it is in the garage now.. ha... I use these things for everything, even Christmas.. just have to watch the load on the appliance modules when using them to turn on christmas lites.. otherwise, they work "great"...
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